Centennial-scale monsoon climate fluctuations from a stalagmite record during the mid-Holocene Epoch in Fulu cave of Huaping, Yunnan, China

Xiaoyan Zhu, Meiliang Zhang, Hai Cheng, Xia Wu, R. L. Edwards

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6 Scopus citations


The mid-Holocene dynamics of the East Asian Monsoon (EAM) and Indian Monsoon (IM) are important for understanding the Holocene climate system. To clarify the relationship between EAM and IM subsystems during the mid-Holocene, a 2085-year (6,270–4,185 a BP) high-resolution record from stalagmite (FL4) in Yunnan, China was reconstructed using ICP-MS-230Th series dating and carbon and oxygen isotope analysis (δ13C and δ18O). In the study period, successive positive δ18O trends revealed a generally weakening Asian monsoon, with the monsoon climate tending toward gradual drying, especially during three centennial-scale drought events in 6,270–6,126 a BP, 5,347–5,140 a BP, and 4,810–4,620 a BP. On the other hand, the uninterrupted negative trend in δ13C signified natural improvements in vegetation overlying the cave, and a serious deficit (~2.5 ‰) in δ13C during 5,519–5,345 a BP implied a heavy rainfall event, in precise phase with δ18O, demonstrating an enhanced Indian Monsoon subsystem. The dense sawtooth-shaped pattern of the carbon and oxygen isotope records indicates that a series of decadal-scale abrupt climate changes were superimposed on the centennial-scale monsoon climate changes. FL4 stalagmite records in the mid-Holocene reflect a gradually weakening monsoon climate with superimposed decadal–centennial events, but natural improvements in local vegetation through self-adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-935
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 26 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by three projects of National Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41372190, 40772216 and 40802042), High-resolution climate sudden change and regular research from stalagmite record in cave (Grant No. 1212011087115),and China karst speleothem record survey for climate change (Grant No. 12120113005700). The authors would like to thank the reviewers and all the foreign friends for improving the English and quality of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Indian Monsoon (IM)
  • Stalagmite record δO
  • δC drought event


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